A survey of the professors of dermatology addressed questions of recruitment and retainment of women in academic dermatology. One hundred thirteen questionnaires were distributed and tabulated anonymously.
Most programs selected residents independent of gender. No gender-specific residency problems were identified other than clinical coverage and completion of training related to pregnancy and maternity leave. Less than 50% of departments have faculty development programs in place, though there was considerable support for faculty development programs and modification of tenure track. The number of women faculty was determined for all departmental faculty. Of the total faculty members, 28.1% were women. Of the paid faculty members, 30.7% were women compared with 24.8% of unpaid faculty members. For paid faculty, 10.7% of full professors were women, compared with 34.1% of associate professors and 38.1% of assistant professors. Only two department chairs were identified as women, though five additional women headed divisions.
With regard to residency training, any problems appear to be reflections of anecdotal experience. With regard to faculty, this datum argues for barriers to advancement to positions with administrative responsibility. Strategies for increasing the number of women in senior positions will depend on recognition and encouragement of current women faculty and require a concerted effort to further professional growth and development, to reward academic success, to provide role models and mentors, and to recognize inherent conflicts of professional women.(Arch Dermatol. 1994;130:1131-1135)